FrankFass

A few years ago, a friend of OnlyForKoolKids told us about the time he’d been asked by Time Out London to give then hot-young-things MGMT a tour of occult sites in London (for a feature, not to turn them into wizards or warlocks). “Cool,” we exclaimed. “Are they like the psychedelic hipster bohemians they appear as on stage and in their music videos?” Of course they weren’t, our friend admonished: “Pop music’s all a load of smoke and mirrors – they were actually two pretty quite and respectful lads.”

Smoke and mirrors indeed. This obvious but oft forgotten reality was brought to mind recently whilst watching Lenny Abrahamson’s weird and wonderful Frank, a film that sees star Michael Fassbender appear for almost all of its duration wearing a comically-oversized papier-mâché head. When we first meet Frank, through the eyes of Domhnall Gleeson’s surburbia-crushed Jon, he appears part-slapstick eccentric, part-musical enigma. For Jon, and for the viewer, it’s a pretty alluring combination, from the mystic shambles of Frank’s first Ian Curtis-eque performance to his Captain Beefheart-like quest for musical perfection.

However, where the first half of the film establishes the myth of Frank, a man whose fake heads seems filled with so much genius and geniality, the latter half sets about unraveling it. Swathed in his mystique, Jon wants to be Frank; fed on the digital diet of YouTube snippets of Frank’s eccentricity, crowds at the SXSW music festival want to see Frank. But, as we discover, strip away the mask and underneath lies a man longing for acceptance, whose actual head is as vulnerable to the ravages of mental frailty as anyone else’s.

It is this revelation that lifts the film above the echelon of whimsical delight and underscores it with the kind of pathos most straight-laced dramas would kill for. The final scene, in which Fassbender appears sans Frank head, singing the whistful I Love You All to his erstwhile bandmates, is one of the most moving we’ve witnessed for some time. So by all means yourself to be taken in by the legend of Frank, whilst never forgetting that appearances can often be deceptive. Especially when they’re dominated by comically-oversized papier-mâché heads…

Frank is in cinemas on Friday May 9

BlackDynamite

If OnlyForKoolKids was to feature in an episode of BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are, the roots of its existence could be traced (rather too easily) to just one source: Black Dynamite. Yes, when we stumbled across the trailer for this brilliant blaxploitation/kung-fu spoof way back in 2009, it didn’t seem enough to just post a link on Facebook or Twitter. More needed to be said, on a more appropriate medium, and thus this blog was born.

Unfortunately, Black Dynamite never got a theatrical release in the UK, but it still went on to be regarded as something of a cult classic and has since become a successful animated series on Adult Swim in the US. As for us…well, as if by serendipity we chanced upon a legit DVD copy whilst browsing through a store in Amsterdam (no, not that kind of store) several months after seeing the trailer, and can confirm that it is almost every bit as good as the trailer teased.

So yesterday proved especially exciting when actor Michael Jai White (Mr. Black Dynamite himself) responded to a fan’s question on Twitter and confirmed that a sequel was now in the works:

Of course, the only way to really share in our excitement is to actually watch Black Dynamite, and believe us when we say it’s oh so worth the £7.99/$12.99 it costs to download from iTunes. From its loving homage to the slapdash acting, editing and audio of the original blaxploitation flicks, to the kung fu-treachery of the fiendish Dr. Wu and a nunchucks-wielding Richard Nixon, you will laugh…and laugh some more. So what are you waiting for, sucka?

-

dead-snow

2013 was the year that saw schlock movie studio Aslyum’s ‘so badly-titled they must be fun’ mashup films grab the public’s (easily distracted) consciousness. One of these, the made-for-TV Sharknado, even went viral to such an extent that once great news networks like CNN deemed it relevant enough to waste airtime on. Problem was that if you actually watched Sharknado it turned out to be ‘so badly titled it’s just bad’ and another hour and a half of your life down the toilet.

Back in 2009, however, the mashup genre saw possibly its finest moment emerge from the colder climes of Norway, in a horror that had Nazi zombies rising from a snowy grave to slay a cabin-full of horny young adults. Only it wasn’t titled ‘Nazi Zombies Rise From A Snowy Grave’ and shit; instead it was dubbed the perfectly concise Dead Snow and was a batshit brilliant slasher/zombie hybrid that paid perfect homage to the splattercore high jinks of early Peter Jackson/Sam Raimi.

Today brought a belated Christmas gift with the teaser trailer for sequel Dead Snow: Red vs Dead, which looks to pick up exactly where its predecessor left off…and then descend into similar Third Reich-reincarnated madness. So if you’ve the stomach for chainsaw-dismembering, limb-ripping and skull-crushing Hitler’s evil undead hordes, 2014 just got a lot more promising.

Dead Snow: Red Vs Dead premieres on January 19 at Sundance 2014

-

Tirzah-Micachu

It’s only been a week since OnlyForKoolKids unveiled its 10+20 tracks of 2013, but already we’re more racked with guilt about it than a Mandela memorial service signer. No sooner had we pressed ‘publish’ than friends and previously faded memories drew our attention to some glaring omissions that simply couldn’t go unrectified.

Such is the joy of your own blog, however, that you can make your own rules up as you go along. So without further hullabaloo and restless recrimination, here’s the should’ve been six:

Sophie Bipp

If you threw early Cyndi Lauper into a blender with Aphex Twin, this delicious aural smoothie would be the result. Drink it up, then pour another.

-

MED/Blu/Madlib/Mayer Hawthorne The Buzz

Scored by Madlib, the man who always has more soul than a sock with a hole, The Buzz is an instant hip hop-love letter classic.

-

Tirzah & Micachu I’m Not Dancing

Straight up fiyah of the most unassuming variety. The catchiest two minutes and 17 seconds 2013 produced.

-

Special Request Capsules

Special Request’s 21st century jungle album Soul Music had ravers of a certain age searching for their Dreamscape mixtape packs. Amen break-bangers aplenty.

-

Boards Of Canada Nothing Is Real

Scotland’s ambient pioneers surprised us all with Tomorrow’s Harvest, another album of the year contender. If you love synth-inspired soundtracks, search it out asap.

-

Burial Hiders

He left it late, but somehow the king of threatening urban soundscapes managed to make the 80s power pop-fuelled anthem of the year.

-

Disclosure

While sifting through all the videos in the OnlyForKoolKids 10+20 lists is an eminently rewarding experience, it is one that requires a fair amount of your precious time. So as an early Christmas present, here’s the Spotify playlist featuring all 30 tracks – all killer, so thriller:

-

fka

After the 20, here’s the 10. Topped by two women, we’d like to think of it as a big ‘fuck you’ to all the batshit misogynists that made Twitter the littering ground for their rape and murder threats this year. But really it’s just a list of music on an obscure blog. Once again, enjoy:

10. All Day Eyes On The Road

Sure, All Day sounds about 14, but he captures the hopes, fears and self-consciousness of being young in the 21st century quite beautifully.

-

9. Kelela Keep It Cool

While Beyonce might’ve grabbed headlines with her snap album release, RnB didn’t get more innovative than Kelela’s CUT 4 Me mixtape.

-

8. The Range Jamie

What starts off as skanking grime flowers into something overwhelmingly evocative and moving. Plant this in your ears now.

-

7. Daft Punk/Panda Bear Doin’ It Right

While the world went nuts for Get Lucky, Doin’ It Right snuck under the radar as the standout moment from Random Access Memories.

-

6. Fuck Buttons Hidden Xs

If there’s a track that better sums up the abject futility that still hangs over humanity in 2013, we’ve yet to hear it.

-

5. Zola Jesus Avalanche (Slow)

When music brings tears to your eyes, it really doesn’t get more powerful than that. Sublime.

-

4. Hyetal Moving Statues

From OnlyForKoolKids’ favourite album of 2013, Hyetal’s outrageously undervalued Modern Worship.

-

3. Jon Hopkins Immunity

The title track from Jon Hopkins Mercury-nominated album, this is the sort of music that Alan Partridge’s ‘Alan’s Deep Bath‘ radio segment was created for.

-

2. Sapphire Slows Can I Get Out Of This Silence

From Tokyo’s tiny Sapphire Slows came the most haunting sound of 2013, all emotive synths and luscious, layered vocals. Delicious.

-

1. FKA Twigs Water Me

Alongside Yeezus producer Arca, FKA Twigs’ startlingly alien yet explicitly terrestrial music touched down on (and touched up) Earth this year, making the planet all the more sexier for it. Mmm…

-

Fin

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 304 other followers